Will Pressure Washers Remove Oil From Concrete?

Pressure washers can be used to remove car oil from concrete with enough pressure and gallons of water. However, the washers can’t remove the oil stain on their own, the washer needs to be paired with a degreaser concrete cleaner for oil stains and the cleaner needs to be left alone for several minutes to work.

When you enjoy the hobby of working on our cars in the garage, oil spills are inevitable. After sopping up the excess oil and scrubbing out as much as you could, there’s still an oil stain in the pores of the concrete that you have to deal with. In desperation, you look at your pressure washer in the corner. Is it possible?

To learn more about whether you can use a pressure washer on oil and how to use one on new and old oil stains on concrete the right way, keep reading.

driveway with oil stain from car exhaust

Related Reading: Can “Wet and Forget” Be Used In A Pressure Washer?

Can Pressure Washers Get Rid of Oil Stains on Concrete?

You’re going to be giddy to hear that you can remove new and old oil stains from your concrete with your pressure washer. Now, oil is still a very difficult substance to wash out, and you can’t use just any nozzle or the harshest pressure and expect the oil to disappear.

It will take the right amount of pressure, the right nozzle, the best techniques, and pairing the pressure washer with the right concrete cleaner.

The first question you’re probably asking yourself is if the pressure washer you have has the power to clean the oil stain. To answer that, we need to know how much pressure you need your washer to reach.

How Much Pressure do You Need to Washout Oil?

In order to effectively wash the oil from the concrete, whether it’s a new or old stain, you need a pressure washer that’s capable of putting out at least 1700PSI per square inch, but preferably as much as 2800PSI.

In addition to having enough pressure, your pressure washer needs to supply enough gallons per minute (GPM). You can’t maintain the right pressure without having enough water. Your pressure washer needs to supply between 1.5-2.5 GPM.

The good news is that most pressure washers made for residential areas do meet these requirements, but check yours anyway. It’s a relief that you don’t need a high-pressure washer.

Which Nozzle Attachment Removes Oil Stains?

Next, you need to make sure you use the right nozzle. Actually, you need to make sure you have two specific nozzles:

  1. A nozzle with a 12” spread
  2. A rotary nozzle, a.k.a. high-pressure nozzle

After clearing away the floor from your vehicles, tools, and anything else lying around on the floor, you will need the first nozzle to clear away the area before and after washing out the oil stain.

Besides, most of us don’t clean the driveway for the sake of one oil stain, which means your driveway is probably dotted with them. So you’ll need a nozzle that cleans large areas.

The second nozzle is what you’ll use to wash out the oil stain directly because it can penetrate deep into the pores of the concrete and get the oil out.

What Cleaner Works With Pressure Washers on Oil?

Now all you need is some chemical help. The water will do a lot of the heavy-lifting, but the oil needs to be broken down by something to be wiped out. An effective concrete cleaner then, will break down the oil by breaking down the grease, which means you need a degreaser.

Degreasers work in one of two ways. Either they will break down the oil, trap it in the suds, suspend it, and carry it away with the water, or they’re acids that break down and dissolve the oil completely.

Awesome degreasing options include,

  • Dish soap
  • Coca-Cola
  • CLR degreaser
  • GP66 Miracle
  • Simple Green: Heavy Duty Concrete Cleaning Solution
  • Oil Eater Original:
  • Simply FLC: Best Concrete Oil Stain Remover

And don’t worry about if you need hot or cold water to get rid of the oil. Cold water will work just fine.

How to Wash Oil From Concrete

Finally, we can get to how you wash out oil from your concrete driveway the right way. Don’t worry, it’s simple and pretty fast.

Clear the Area

Clear the area from any objects, debris, and persons. You want an uninterrupted space to be able to sweep the nozzle without having to work around equipment.

Protect Yourself

Wear protective clothing like gloves, goggles, boots, and pants instead of shorts. Some cleaners are harmful when they touch exposed skin so it’s important to cover up in as many waterproof materials as you can.


Rinse the driveway with your 12” nozzle to clear away any dirt.

Apply Cleaner

Take your cleaner of choice and apply a liberal amount to the stain if it doesn’t go into the pressure washer directly. If your cleaner does go into the pressure washer, apply the recommended amount into the tank.

Let Rest

You want to let the degreaser be for a few minutes before you wash it off to give it time to break down the oil and/or trap it.


Scrub the area with a brush or sturdy stiff-bristled broom thoroughly to break up the oil.


Clear away the oil and cleaner with your 12” nozzle and clean water in your pressure washer. Depending on the cleaner you chose, if you leave the cleaner on your driveway it will either stain or start dissolving the concrete, especially the acids.

Continue Reading: Can Hot Water Be Used In A Pressure Washer?


Now you are fully prepared to tackle those ugly dark oil spots you’ve been putting off now that you know you can use your pressure washer without making the problem worse. Instead, you can be drunk with power as you watch the oil disappear like magic! In fact, you might find it so satisfying you start asking your buddies if they need help with their driveways.